As Sechelt council begins its review of yet another bid by Trellis to build a long-term care facility in West Sechelt, a damning report by BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie puts the lie to many of the claims made by defenders of the project. Entitled “A Billion Reasons to Care”, the report gives decisive proof that for-profit contractors deliver inferior care, underpay workers and engage in dubious business practices to improve their bottom line.
According to Mackenzie, BC for-profit care providers annually spend an average of $10,000 less per patient on direct care than do non-profits. And whereas within a single year non-profits delivered an additional 80,000 hours of care, for-profits provided a staggering 207,000 hours less than they had contracted for.
For-profits also pay their workers considerably less, with care aides receiving as much as seven dollars an hour below industry standard.
Furthermore, Mackenzie cites serious deficiencies in expense auditing and a lack of consistent guidelines and policies among health authorities. She notes that for-profits have higher administrative costs, and building expenses more than twice as high as non-profits. In response to a reporter’s question, Mackenzie agreed that the Ministry of Health has essentially given for-profit corporations a blank cheque for how they spend taxpayer dollars.
The NDP government was elected on a promise to defend public health care. Allowing the Silverstone project to proceed will represent a betrayal of our community and show that the party is more concerned with serving corporate interests than protecting the health and well-being of some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Protect Public Health Care
– Sunshine Coast